It’s Complicated Patek Philippe’s Travel Time Legacy

Sometimes called “Dual Time Zone” or “Travel Time” by the brand, this is a long-standing Patek Philippe complication that adds a second hour hand to the dial designed to display the time in another time-zone. The added hand is usually rendered in a manner distinct from the local hours and capable of being hidden under the local hour hand when not in use, and Patek mounts a pair of buttons in the left case flank to advance or retreat the extra hour hand. Replica Watch

For Patek, the original goal of this complication was to make the process of updating to a new time-zone as easy as possible. Where previous travel watches often relied on multiple movements, Patek Philippe turned to none other than Louis Cottier to design a solution fit for the rapidly growing popularity of airline travel. Those of you who have a love of world-time watches (or read my chapter in Watches: A Guide By HODINKEE) will recognize Cottier’s name, as he was the mind behind the birth of Patek’s first World Timer in the late 1930s.

By the mid-1950s, Patek wanted more options for travelers, and it called upon Cottier to design a time-zone jumping watch that could be updated without stopping the minutes or seconds and without taking the watch off of one’s wrist. It wasn’t a GMT or a world timer, but rather a watch designed to update quickly and easily to a new time-zone via a button-operated jumping hour hand functionality.

Now, nearly 60 years later, Patek Philippe still offers this functionality on a handful of watches, and it has even been evolved to offer a better understanding of your second time-zone (more on that in a bit). For a brand that doesn’t offer a conventional GMT model, the reference 2597 is the genesis of Patek’s most travel-specific watch and yet another Cottier-derived innovation put to lasting work by the brand. fake omega watches

And, while this article will focus on some of Patek’s twin hour hand models, Cottier’s first design, the jaw-droppingly lovely ref. 2597, was originally born in 1958 as the “Cross Country” with a single jump-set hour hand and list price of $1,000 (in the U.S.). By 1961, Cottier and Patek had updated the 2597 to a second series that featured dual hour hands (with the auxiliary hour hand in blued steel, shown above), with the auxiliary hand capable of being jump-set via tiny pushers on the case side (much like the local hour hand on the original specification). As mentioned above, this could be done without stopping the watch, without taking it off your wrist, and, if you weren’t traveling, the auxiliary hour hand could be hidden beneath the local hour hand. This functionality is derived from Patek’s 12”’400 HS movement, where “HS” stands for Heures Sautantes and translates to “jumping hours.” Hand-wound and sporting 18 jewels, the 12”’400 HS formed the base of the brand’s 1959 Swiss patent (#340191) representing a “time zone watch.” In a modern context, the legacy of the 12”’400 lives on in the current-gen caliber 324 S C FUS which is likely best known for its use in the excellent Aquanaut Travel Time ref. 5164.

As Ben described in previous coverage of the reference, from the onset of the earliest 2597, the watch was essentially a reference 570 Calatrava in a 35.5mm yellow or pink-gold case (produced by Antoine Gerlach for Patek Philippe) with a few tweaks for the new movement and its controls. To re-iterate, the Series 1 is roughly confined to 1958-1961, with the twin hour hand Series 2 appearing closer to 1962. Interestingly, in speaking with John Reardon of Collectability.com (an excellent resource on all things Patek Philippe), I learned that, by the 1970s, Patek was selling upgrade kits to retailers that made it possible to update a single hour hand series 1 into a dual hour hand series 2.

While these years are sometimes debated (record-keeping being what it is), this is the loose understanding among the collector community and serves as something of a warning. Should you come across a 2597 with dual hour hands and a production date before 1961, dig as deep as you can before throwing down any cash as there is a chance the watch was not originally made with both hour hands, having been updated by a Patek retailer sometime later.

All told, the 2597 is an immensely cool and very rare watch that can also be found double-signed by Tiffany, Gubelin, and others. Values are high and climbing, with A+ examples like this one (offered by Phillips in November of 2017) selling for serious coin – CHF 540,500 before premium. Those curious can check out these lots, including this double-signed Series 1 example on a bracelet offered in 2019 via Bonhams or this more patinated Series 2 example from Phillips sold in May of 2018.

Burgundy-Brown Bakelite Bezel, Alpha Hands

With the 6542, we see that gold examples have been part of the mix from the early days of the GMT-Master, making it the first of Rolex’s sport watches to be made in gold (though there were certain pre-Daytona chronographs made in gold). The literally high-flying world of international commercial aviation was better suited to precious-metal tool watches than the SCUBA environment that gave rise to the Rolex Submariner just a couple of years earlier, it seems. Best Replica Watches

As with the steel version, the gold 6542 had a 38mm case. The original gold 6542 bezels are likewise Bakelite, though rather than the bi-color blue and red, they were burgundy-brown in hue. There were two dials that came with the gold 6542. The version that we have here features the lighter champagne dial, but there is also a version of the gold 6542 with a darker tawny dial that is more close in hue to the burgundy-brown bezel insert.

This is also the first instance of what will become a recurring theme in gold GMT-Masters, the nipple marker for the hours. The nipple-style marker will be a hallmark of the gold GMT-Master for several years, right up to and including the transitional ref. 16758. The example that we have here is on a pristine gold Oyster bracelet. And the case came with a Twinlock crown, also in yellow gold, identified by the line underneath the five-pointed Rolex coronet, making it an “underline” crown.

Whereas the steel 6542 has a Mercedes hour hand and lollipop seconds, typical of patek philippe replica sport watches, the minutes and hours of the gold 6542 are alpha hands, and the seconds are of a simple baton style with counterweight. Like the steel 6542, the GMT hand features a small triangle. The movement used in this watch is the cal. 1065.

The reference 1675 was in production from 1959 until 1980, making it one of the longest-running Rolex references in existence. Over the course of that time, Rolex made many changes, large and small, to the GMT-Master, but the boldest line of demarcation dividing production into two categories is the one between earlier gilt and later matte dial variations. This separation is one that will be familiar to anyone who cares about vintage Rolex, as similar dividing lines can be found in vintage Submariners and Explorers too. One will find GMT-Master ref. 1675s with gilt dials in production dates from 1959 to roughly 1966-67. Matte dials pick up in about 1966 and continue through to the end of the ref. 1675 in about 1979-80, and they go on within the GMT-Master more broadly to include earlier examples of the 16750. In the early period of the 1675, one will notice that the bezel fonts are thicker or fatter than those seen in more recently produced watches. Because of their age and their limited supply, those fat-font bezels tend to command a premium over the thinner variations.

With regard to movements, we’ll see two used over the span of the ref. 1675. In watches produced until about 1965-’66, we’ll see the 18,000 vph caliber 1565. Around the 1.4m serial mark, Rolex transitioned the GMT-Master to the high-beat (for its time) caliber 1575, which received a hacking function around 1971. There is an exception to this two-movement rule, though, and it applies to very early and rare gilt dials that retain the OCC text. More on that in a bit. I’d like to thank Dr. Andrew Hantel for his scholarship of this reference

Burgundy-Brown Bakelite Bezel, Alpha Hands

With the 6542, we see that gold examples have been part of the mix from the early days of the GMT-Master, making it the first of Rolex’s sport watches to be made in gold (though there were certain pre-Daytona chronographs made in gold). The literally high-flying world of international commercial aviation was better suited to precious-metal tool watches than the SCUBA environment that gave rise to the Rolex Submariner just a couple of years earlier, it seems.

As with the steel version, the gold 6542 had a 38mm case. The original gold 6542 bezels are likewise Bakelite, though rather than the bi-color blue and red, they were burgundy-brown in hue. There were two dials that came with the gold 6542. The version that we have here features the lighter champagne dial, but there is also a version of the gold 6542 with a darker tawny dial that is more close in hue to the burgundy-brown bezel insert. Swiss Replica Watches

This is also the first instance of what will become a recurring theme in gold GMT-Masters, the nipple marker for the hours. The nipple-style marker will be a hallmark of the gold GMT-Master for several years, right up to and including the transitional ref. 16758. The example that we have here is on a pristine gold Oyster bracelet. And the case came with a Twinlock crown, also in yellow gold, identified by the line underneath the five-pointed Rolex coronet, making it an “underline” crown.

Whereas the steel 6542 has a Mercedes hour hand and lollipop seconds, typical of Rolex sport watches, the minutes and hours of the gold 6542 are alpha hands, and the seconds are of a simple baton style with counterweight. Like the steel 6542, the GMT hand features a small triangle. The movement used in this watch is the cal. 1065.

It would be easy to mistake this 6542 with a converted bezel for an early reference 1675. By the time of the aforementioned 1961 lawsuit, Rolex had already recalled the Bakelite bezel. The watch that we have here, with its nicely tropicalized dial, was born with Bakelite, but that bezel was ultimately replaced with the metal insert we see here as a result of a recall. Other times, Rolex service centers were known to have scraped the radium out of the bezel inserts and replaced it with tritium or left it empty of luminous material.

1n early 1960, Rolex issued a statement through its authorized dealers in the United States to address confusion caused by its recall of Bakelite bezels. From this document, we can learn a few things. For one, we can tell that as of the time this document was issued, just 605 GMT-Masters with Bakelite bezels had been imported to the United States – a tiny amount. The document also asserts that the GMT-Master at the time was “a special-purpose wrist chronometer used mostly by navigators and pilots for telling time accurately in two timezones simultaneously.” My, how the GMT has grown beyond its initial scope, and also grown in price. At the time of the statement, a stainless-steel ref. 6542 would have cost a pilot $240, and a gold model would set him back $600. rolex replica watches

The reference 1675 was in production from 1959 until 1980, making it one of the longest-running Rolex references in existence. Over the course of that time, Rolex made many changes, large and small, to the GMT-Master, but the boldest line of demarcation dividing production into two categories is the one between earlier gilt and later matte dial variations. This separation is one that will be familiar to anyone who cares about vintage Rolex, as similar dividing lines can be found in vintage Submariners and Explorers too. One will find GMT-Master ref. 1675s with gilt dials in production dates from 1959 to roughly 1966-67. Matte dials pick up in about 1966 and continue through to the end of the ref. 1675 in about 1979-80, and they go on within the GMT-Master more broadly to include earlier examples of the 16750. In the early period of the 1675, one will notice that the bezel fonts are thicker or fatter than those seen in more recently produced watches. Because of their age and their limited supply, those fat-font bezels tend to command a premium over the thinner variations.

With regard to movements, we’ll see two used over the span of the ref. 1675. In watches produced until about 1965-’66, we’ll see the 18,000 vph caliber 1565. Around the 1.4m serial mark, Rolex transitioned the GMT-Master to the high-beat (for its time) caliber 1575, which received a hacking function around 1971. There is an exception to this two-movement rule, though, and it applies to very early and rare gilt dials that retain the OCC text. More on that in a bit. I’d like to thank Dr. Andrew Hantel for his scholarship of this reference

Reference Points Understanding The Rolex GMT-Master

One of the crowning achievements of humankind in the last century was the mastery of flight. When the Wright Brothers launched their Flyer into the seaside breeze of Kitty Hawk, N.C., a door was opened onto possibilities previously only imagined in myths or dreams. The first scheduled commercial flight took place in Florida a little more than 100 years ago, from St. Petersburg to neighboring Tampa. And the subsequent popularization of commercial air travel in the 1950s and ’60s allowed civilians to go places with greater speed than any previous generation. But while the possibility to arrive on another continent in mere hours was certainly game-changing, it created problems too, particularly as it pertained to keeping and adjusting to time.

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Douglas DC-8-32 N804PA of Pan American World Airways at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport in 1967 (Credit: RuthAS/Wikimedia Commons).

There was no longer just the time. Rather, there was the time where one was and the time where one was going. This was a daily concern for the commercial pilots crisscrossing the world’s time zones in the nascent commercial aviation industry. One of the great American companies of the last century, Pan American World Airways, partnered with a Swiss watch brand by the name of Rolex to see if it could make them a watch capable of telling the time in more places than one. It is from this overture that came one of today’s most collectible, historically important, and iconic Rolex sport watches: The GMT-Master.
The GMT-Master didn’t come from a blank slate. We can trace its roots back to other classic Rolex sport watches, perhaps starting with the Rolex Zerographe reference 3346 circa 1937 with a rotating bezel, but continuing to the Submariner and Turn-O-Graph models that Rolex introduced in 1953. These watches featured rotating aluminum bezels for timing elapsed minutes, and they served as the platform upon which Rolex was to develop the first GMT-Master. To this day, if you think of a watch made for tracking time in more places than one, there is a very good chance that the blue-and-red bezeled Rolex GMT-Master, graduated for 24 hours, is the image that appears in your mind’s eye. What started as a purpose-built tool for pilots has transcended that role to become a totem of a cosmopolitan, urbane, and well-traveled life. As such, it’s been worn not just by pilots and navigators, but by famous actors, entertainers, artists, thinkers, and musicians – the people whose personalities and style influence us on a daily basis audemars piguet replica.

The watch collecting community continues to show great interest in the GMT-Master’s vintage references. And the current collection of GMT-Master IIs accounts for several of the most sought-after watches at retail. The Rolex GMT-Master is, in all its many forms, quite simply the most famous travel watch the world has ever seen.
The first and the most recent Pepsi-bezeled examples.

Wherever possible, I’ve provided production dates for the references in this article. It is crucial to understand that what the numbers on the inside caseback tell us regards the case production, but that watches were often not assembled until a year later and then sold after that, sometimes many years later. In the mid-’70s, Rolex ceased printing case production dates on the inside of casebacks. For those watches, the serial numbers printed on the case between the lugs offer the best insight into when a watch was made, but this too is something of an imprecise science.

It’s been 65 years since Rolex launched the first GMT-Master, and in that time, there have been a great many variations if you take into account all of the gem-set examples and different strap / bracelet configurations. Showing you every single one of them would probably have been impossible, so instead we’ve decided to focus on the watches that we think tell the story of the world’s most famous travel watch, from 1955 to the present.

In order to do this, we’ve once again tapped Eric Wind, former HODINKEE contributor and the proprietor of Wind Vintage. Eric reached well into his network of friends and collectors to bring us more than 30 world-class examples of the Rolex GMT-Master to include in this article.

An $11 Million Porsche Design 1919 Globetimer (With Complimentary Private Jet And Porsche 911)

Just in time to celebrate your latest hostile takeover or portfolio windfall, a new “ultimate luxury toy” package of a private jet/sports car combo also includes a special timepiece in the prospectus. But you’ll have to pony up for the whole deal to strap it on your wrist.

In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer and performance carmaker Porsche have joined forces to create just 10 pairings of a special co-designed Phenom 300E business jet and a Porsche 911 Turbo S vehicle, elegantly dubbed Duet, for a projected sticker price of about $11 million. In their quest to create “a truly seamless experience from road to sky,” the partners tasked sibling watchmaker Porsche Design (who also designed some exclusive bespoke luggage for the project) with outfitting corporate baller Duet buyers with a fine wrist instrument. I mean, you wouldn’t want to fly without one.

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Of course, design and vibe overlaps abound between the business jet, automobile, and the watch itself. The 10 cockpit-inspired titanium Porsche Design 1919 Globetimer UTC Embraer Edition watches carry the special Duet project logo, feature an instrumentation-style virtual horizon across an anthracite center dial, and add a jet icon riding on the end of its central date hand. When you consider that even the cost of the 911 Turbo S is kind of a rounding error on the price of the business jet, that’s a good amount of attention to pay to a watch. And, literally, the only way to acquire one is to purchase a Duet pairing.

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The COSC-certified 1919 Globetimer UTC is already regarded as an innovative travel timepiece and utilizes what at first appear to be chronograph pushers to simply and easily jump the time back and forth an hour while you are in transit (plus and minus symbols are embossed on the hardware). A dot-style day/night indicator rides at nine o’clock, while inner bezels register the numerical date (as mentioned), carry 12-hour indices, and also deliver 24-hour UTC “military” time on the outer rehaut ring.
Certainly, while winging your way across time-zones in your six-passenger, 464 ktas (about 533 mph) Phenom 300E – the fastest, longest-range single-pilot business jet in the world – such an intuitive solution to staying on time in flight will be as welcome as your next cocktail or legal vindication. And behind the wheel of your 640 hp, 2.2-second giddyup from 0 to 60 mph Porsche 911 Turbo S, the gold standard in performance automobiles? You’ll be gripping a steering wheel that picks up the timepiece’s design cues and glancing at an analog/digital dash clock that also mimics the watch’s special aviation details.

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The Basics
Brand: Porsche Design
Model: 1919 Globetimer UTC Embraer Edition, limited to 10 executions

Diameter: 42mm
Thickness: 14.9mm
Case Material: Titanium
Dial Color: Anthracite on black
Indexes: Arabic numerals and batons
Water Resistance: 10 bars
Strap/Bracelet: Contrast-stitched Porsche interior leather

The Movement
Caliber: WERK 04.110
Functions: Hours, minutes, central seconds, date, day/night indicator
Power Reserve: 38 hours
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 4 Hz
Jewels: 28
Chronometer Certified: Yes, COSC

The Credor Eichi II GBLT997

The lore surrounding Seiko’s Micro Artist Studio is well known to many who appreciate watches. It’s where the company’s most exacting finishing and handwork are practiced by a small number of Seiko artisans who are among the best in the world at what they do. I myself remember visiting the Studio in 2007 – still an infant in the world of watches, though around just long enough to have heard the name Philippe Dufour. I vaguely recall seeing his picture in the small Studio and learning of his interest in its activities, a discovery that I remember charmed me and caused me to ponder the cross-cultural possibilities of a craft which to that point I’d considered solely Swiss. Really, solely French-Swiss. Relica Watches
The best-known range to hail from the Micro Artist Studio is that of Credor’s Eichi watches, simple-enough-looking designs with indication for the power reserve (on the dial in the case of Eichi, on the movement in the case of the Eichi II), produced in extremely small quantities, which evince a character of simple perfection that I’ve come to expect from Seiko’s higher-end products. This includes Grand Seiko, of course, as we’ve seen in another recent release here on the site. Still, Credor is, in my mind, the highest expression of what Seiko can do in the world of watches, and the Eichi II, which is now being presented with a stunning blue dial, is the apotheosis of Credor. At present, only select Grand Seiko and Credor watches are made in the Micro Artist Studio.
We’ve already covered the Eichi II at length. It came out 2014, following on the original Eichi watch of 2008. The original Eichi II was designed to invite repeated close looks and stand up to examination under a loupe. Pre-COVID, there was a day when we happened to have an Eichi II in the office for photography, and Jack was editing some photos on his large desktop monitor. As he zoomed further and further in, the Eichi II’s perfect mainplate simply wouldn’t quit, nor would its crisp blue writing, beveled edges, or jewel sinks. It was a revelatory moment for me in terms of understanding what high-end finishing can mean in watches. The Eichi II’s Spring Drive cal. 7R14 is one of the few watches in the world that can be shot in extremely high resolution with a good camera without revealing any discernible flaws. omega replica watches

Initial Thoughts
We’ve already covered the Eichi II in its original white-dial versions in depth, of course. What distinguishes the new version you see here, created to mark the 140th anniversary of Seiko’s founding by Kintaro Hattori, taking place in 2021, is its hand-painted blue porcelain dial. It’s been rendered in a color that Seiko and Credor are calling Ruri, the Japanese word for lapis lazuli. You’ll find the familiar Credor “C” seconds hand and finely executed hour and minute hands, as well as hand-painting for the hour markers and for the Credor name.
The Eichi II ref. GBLT997 is presented in a 950 platinum case that, like the original Eichi II, measures a wearable 39mm across and 10.3mm tall. Seiko says that Eichi means wisdom. I spoke to someone who is fluent in Japanese, and they told me that eichi is a beautiful, poetic word that denotes deep knowledge. Interestingly, there are three ways to write eichi in Japanese kanji characters, they told me. While all three mean “wisdom” or “knowledge,” the kanji that Seiko uses on its Japanese-language website is associated with wisdom so great as to be compared with that of the divine.

Viewed from the other side, you’ll find the equally stunning Spring Drive cal. 7R14. Just as with the original Eichi II, the beveled edges, mirror-polished ruby sinks, and heat-blued screws offer a compelling visual argument for what Seiko can do in the arena of finishing. The 7R14 as seen in the Eichi II eschews the boisterously baroque decoration one might find in watches made elsewhere; its relative simplicity of layout provides no hiding places for mistakes.
One of the hallmark characteristics of this movement is its torque return system. Because Spring Drive uses mechanical power from an unfurling mainspring, it operates with more torque than needed at the height of its power reserve. And it’s not an insignificant amount: about 30%. The 7R14 reclaims this energy and uses it to rewind the mainspring, resulting in a more efficient movement and a power reserve of 60 hours. The mainspring is contained within a stylized, openworked Bellflower, a motif that will be familiar from both the original version of the Eichi II and, in a slightly different form, in the 9R02 movement, a similar Spring Drive caliber (but with a much longer eight-day power reserve) used in the highest-end Grand Seiko Spring Drive watches.

On a purely aesthetic level, I think this watch sings. There is something about an incredibly deep blue dial matched to the relative austerity of a white metal case that tends to get me. And this pairing really gets me.

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